Sunday, February 19, 2017

February Stargazing

We had record warm temperatures the day before – 69 degrees. While it was still chilly the next morning, the mid-40s before dawn in February is tolerable weather to do some stargazing and star photography.  A slice of the moon was intruding but it wasn't bothersome.  Here are photos that I took this morning, while some cirrus clouds crawled into the skies.





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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Chagrin River Exceeds Flood Stage

Snow melt and heavy rain caused many of the area rivers to exceed flood stage. At about 3:15 on February 7, 2017, the river gauges showed the Chagrin River in Willoughby, Ohio at 12.89 feet. Daniels Park in Willoughby was closed off due to the high water, so we headed to Chagrin River Park, which has higher banks and a walking bridge over the river for safe viewing of the rushing waters.  Here is a short video plus two photos taken while the water level was probably at or near its peak.










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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Lake Effect Snow And A Visiting Fox

A heavy lake effect snow band moved in off Lake Erie this morning. I was trying to capture the snowfall in slow motion and the second I started recording, a fox trotted through the yard. It was a pleasant bonus! Here’s a short video of the snow, with that cameo appearance by the fox.





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Friday, October 21, 2016

Autumn Color at Mohican State Park


My husband enjoys fly fishing in the Clear Fork River at Mohican State Park in Loudonville Ohio, so we try to make the trip once or twice a year. This year, we hit the fall color at its peak. The weather was spectacular with warmer than normal temps. The downside: it was very windy and as the morning progressed, the river began to fill with fallen leaves, making it hard for the fish to even see the flies. The water level was also very low, making for few deep pools for the fish. My husband did catch one small largemouth bass, however. While his fishing day wasn’t one of his best, I had a wonderful time photographing the bold fall colors. Here are some photos and a video - enjoy! (Click on any image for a larger view.)
















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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fall Color Arrives in Northeast Ohio

 The beautiful colors of autumn have arrived here in northeast Ohio. The color is not as noticeable at ground level as it is when the viewed from above the treetops. At Chapin Forest, part of the Lake Metroparks, you CAN rise above the treetops. There is a trail (paved, but steep at first) which leads to a fantastic overlook with views of Lake and Cuyahoga Counties. On a clear day, the city of Cleveland can been easily seen in the distance. Bring your binoculars and/or a telephoto lens on your camera to get the best view of the Cleveland skyline. We visited Chapin Forest on the same date last year and the skyline was crisp and clear and I got some great shots of the city. This year, there was some haze in the air, likely from warm temps and rain approaching from the western end of the state, and the photos were fuzzy at best. Still, with the unseasonably warm temps, it was a great day for a hike through the forest to see that wonderful view!  (Click on any image for a larger view.)













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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Niagara Falls – Then and Now


Niagara Falls - view from the American side


I’ve been to Niagara Falls three times in my lifetime: 1972, 1976, and 2016. Each time,  I took photos and video of the area, but the quality greatly improved in that 40 year period due to the changes in digital cameras and photo processing software.  I thought I'd share some of these old and new photos to show how things looked then and now.

Two photos below show Niagara Falls taken from the American side, one in 1972 and the other in 2016. The most noticeable differences are the Canadian skyline and the shape of Luna Island, the latter visible in the center of the 1972 photo and in the upper left quadrant of the 2016 photo. Luna Island was closed in 1954 due to ground instability and reopened in 1972. As I don’t have an exact date for my 1972 photo, it was likely taken before the island was reopened, as what looks like a crane is faintly visible on the island. I have also included before and after views of the American Falls, taken from the Luna Island vantage point in 1976 and 2016.

When we visited last week, the weather was spectacular, with bright blue skies and comfortable temperatures. We ventured to the Canadian side first to get a close view of the Horseshoe Falls. The only downside was that the mist from both the American and the Canadian Falls were being blown in our direction, and the mist turned to big raindrops as we got closer to Horseshoe Falls. People walking away from the area closest to Horseshoe Falls were coming back drenched, and, as we weren’t dressed for that kind of moisture, we didn’t get as close as we did in our 1976 visit. I have also included photos (below) of the view of Horseshoe Falls; one from 1976 and a few from 2016.   While one can see the frontal views of all the falls from the Canadian side, there is nothing that beats standing right next to them on the American side.

After the photos is a very short video from our recent visit which conveys the sound and the power of the rushing water. All in all, Niagara Falls is an amazing natural wonder and it never gets old seeing it.  (Click on any image for a larger view.)

Niagara Falls, American Falls - 1972

Niagara Falls, American Falls - 2016


Niagara Falls, Canadian Horseshoe Falls - 1976


Niagara Falls, Canadian Horseshoe Falls - 2016


View from Luna Island, American Falls = 1976

View from Luna Island, American Falls  2016



View of the Canadian and American Falls from the Canadian side of the Falls - 2016












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Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Lake Erie Bluffs Observation Tower Is Open

The new observation tower has finally opened at Lake Erie Bluffs, part of the Lake Metroparks system. The weather was comfortably cool,  there was a stiff breeze,  and it was sunny - perfect for viewing the surrounding area.  The tower steps are easy to navigate and the top of the tower has plenty of room.   The Fairport Harbor West lighthouse at Mentor Headlands was easily visible. The birds seemed to be hiding today,  but quite a few monarch butterflies were flying around the trails.  Here are a few photos.













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